Monday, August 4, 2008

The Neoliberal Business Cycle

F. William Engdahl (The Online Journal, 8-5-2008) indicates that the banking situation is much worse than most people imagine, with CitiGroup, once the world's largest bank, having to take billions in funds from Dubai. In addition auto sales showed huge declines last month (Ford down 28%, GM down 18%, Toyota down 21%). Even worse, the Labor Department's U6 unemployment rate has risen to 9.6% and, according to Shadowstats, the actual unemployment rate is estimated at 13.7%.

Of course these "problems" are actually how neoliberal economics functions: to consolidate power and resources and to keep the working class in a position of weakness. This list of US retail shop closings indicates another "problem" with the US economy.

Ann Taylor, closing 117 stores nationwide.

Eddie Bauer to close more stores after closing 27 stores in the first quarter.

Cache, a women’s retailer, is closing 20 to 23 stores this year.

Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines, closing 150 stores nationwide

Talbots, J. Jill, closing stores. Talbots will close all 78 of its kids and men’s stores plus another 22 underperforming stores. The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women’s and J. Jill.

Gap Inc., closing 85 stores

Foot Locker to close 140 stores

Wickes Furniture is going out of business and closing all of its stores. The 37-year-old retailer that targets middle-income customers, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Levitz, the furniture retailer, announced it was going out of business and closing all 76 of its stores in December. The retailer dates back to 1910.

Zales, Piercing Pagoda planned to close 82 stores by July 31 followed by closing another 23 underperforming stores.

Disney Store owner has the right to close 98 stores.

Home Depot, closing 15 stores amid a slumping US economy and housing market. The move will affect 1,300 employees. It is the first time the world’s largest home improvement store chain has ever closed a flagship store.


Macy’s, nine stores closed

Movie Gallery, video rental company, plans to close 400 of 3,500 Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores in addition to the 520 locations the video rental chain closed last fall as part of bankruptcy.

Pacific Sunwear, 153 Demo stores closing.

Pep Boys, 33 stores of auto parts supplier closing.

Sprint Nextel, 125 retail locations to close with 4,000 employees following 5,000 layoffs last year.

J. C. Penney, Lowe’s and Office Depot are all scaling back

Ethan Allen Interiors, plans to close 12 of 300 stores to cut costs.

Wilsons the Leather Experts,, closing 158 stores.

Bombay Company to close all 384 U.S.-based Bombay Company stores.

KB Toys, closing 356 stores around the United States as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.

Dillard’s Inc. will close another six stores this year.

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